As promised, this log is talking about the game itself. The game I’m going to Kickstart. The one I’m taking to market less than six months from now. Holy cow that’s a big realization.
Anywho, the game is called Bill Shakespeare is Dead. You can go directly to the game’s page if you wish, but I’ll summarize it here, too. In short, players are members of The King’s Men, the theatre troupe that performed at The Globe Theatre. It’s opening night of a brand new play and the star playwright, Bill Shakespeare, is dead. And he had the script. So now, using nothing but bits of the script and obscene scribblings by Bill, you have to put on a show.
If you’ve played Cards Against Humanity, this game lives in the same kind of world. Players draw from a deck of nouns and verbs, and other players are chosen to perform scenes from the play. When gaps occur in the scene, one player acting as the Stage Manager will call for a verb or noun, and it’s everyone else’s job to shout out what they think fits best from the cards they’ve drawn. Much silliness abounds. It’s a party game, and the more ridiculous you get with it, the better.
So if you’re a party game player, you probably own the aforementioned Cards Against Humanity. So, you might be thinking to yourself as you stroke your non-existent goatee, why would I want to buy this new game?
Welp, here’s two reason. First and foremost, this game is fast. You may play one of CAH’s white cards every few minutes at best in that game. In Bill Shakespeare is Dead, you’re playing several cards a minute, so you have to think fast and act faster. Secondly, if you happen to have a bunch of monochromatic cards with nouns on them lying ar0und, they are compatible with Bill Shakespeare is Dead. So this could be the perfect thing to add some high brow/low brow spice to your game night.
I’m proud of this game. But then again, I’ve got five prototypes, and I’m proud of them all. So why am I taking this one to market and not one of the others? The answer is so disappointingly practical: cost. All the other prototypes (with the exception of Give and Take) are very art-heavy. Art is expensive. Artists need to eat too, oddly enough. So if you are starting out your first game, and you have practically zero moneys, you can’t just jump into a game that requires a lot of moneys to get out the door.
But, you might ask, isn’t that the point of Kickstarter? To raise funds for the game?
Yes and no. Yes, that’s the point of Kickstarter. But no, that doesn’t mean you should just have something that feels wholly unfinished and ask people to pay money for it. If you have a game that requires a lot of art, and your game has very very little art, that’s not fun. That doesn’t make for a good Kickstarter page, and people will throw things at you.
So yeah, I could just shovel anything onto Kickstarter in whatever state it’s in, but I don’t like that. Instead, I want something that is at least mostly complete. Thus, Bill Shakespeare is Dead. It is very much not an art-heavy work, so I can pay for most of the art myself, before funding, and have the eventual funding goal lower so that we’re focused on manufacturing instead of design.
God, I sound all practical. That’s horrible.
In the next log: Artists.